A Jordanian internet start-up has become one of the world's first websites to launch its own television channel, months after receiving backing from the region's most active technology venture fund. ShooFeeTV, which has built a comprehensive online guide to the region's free-to-air television, will now have its own 24-hour channel to broadcast listings for each day's viewing.
While most TV channels and media outlets have websites to steer viewers to their products, this is a rare instance of a TV channel being established to drive interest in a website. "Our aim is to offer a complete television guide and the TV channel is another platform for us," said Amjad Tadros, the founder of ShooFeeTV. "What we want the TV channel to do is drive interest in the service and increase visits to our website."
In May, ShooFeeTV received investment from Intel Capital, the venture fund owned by Intel, the world's largest computer chip maker. The company had previously received early-stage investment from IV Holding, the Jordanian venture fund focused on Middle-Eastern internet businesses. Feroz Sanaulla, Intel Capital's vice president for the Middle East, described the investment as a vote of confidence in the viability of the region's fledgling internet industry.
"Our belief is that broadband penetration in the region is just a scratch on the surface," Mr Sanaulla said. "As people join the space, advertisers will figure a way to cater to every level of the economic pyramid, from the very bottom to the very top." The new ShooFeeTV channel is being broadcast via the Arabsat Badr-4 satellite and will show a rolling ticker of television times, as well as clips and trailers for upcoming shows and movies.
The channel will also broadcast original content developed by ShooFeeTV, where hosts discuss entertainment news. The company also plans to integrate features of the website, such as discussion boards and comment threads for individual shows, with the television channel. The company already sells its database of television listings to newspapers, websites and companies wanting to offer an electronic programme guide on set-top boxes.